The banking sector is in the process of changing “to digital”. It is clear, not only by the statements of its managers but by the fact that this sector is a success story among the main players in the information technology sector. Also significant is the restructuring of branch offices at street level, and the boost they are giving to the use of self-service options via the Internet and mobile applications. In this context, banks are increasingly more attentive to the Customer Journey of their clients, as we shall see in more detail below.
Hardly a month goes by without they surprise us with new services added to their Apps (increasingly powerful and complete). These include new ways of obtaining cash in addition to ATMs, or alternative modern payment systems, such as Bizum (universal, comprehensive, and immediate). An initiative by the Spanish banking system, which is a pioneer in Europe.
Banking requires differentiation. Not only to compete against other traditional banks, but also against fintech businesses. Regarding the latter, El País already warned in early 2016 that they were shaking up the banking sector, taking up 21.6% of the capital that was going to startups, closely following e-commerce.
In this continuous struggle to hold on to one’s market share and to encourage customer loyalty, a situation is unfolding: personalised treatment and customer focus will mark the future. Traditionally, this was achieved through face-to-face relationships in the bank’s offices, by sending out letters (how long is it since we have received any printed material from our banks?) or through telephone calls. All this is already a thing of the past.
Current challenges in the banking sector
According to a recent report by Frost and Sullivan, at least one in two customers of financial services employs three or more channels of communication with their banks in the course of one year. Instant messaging, mobile apps, websites, or social media; there are many channels of communication available to customers and they demand the same level of customised treatment regardless of the channel chosen.
However, in the new context of digital change, it is necessary to reconsider the methods. Customer loyalty must be achieved using other approaches. For example, what CRM solutions refer to as “Customer Journey”. This simply refers to a customer’s journey based on his/her experience with our company.
Taken as a guiding principle, it is to align business operations with the average life-cycle of a customer. It starts by identifying how customers usually contract certain services and by studying their way of doing things and their interaction with our organisation. This will help us to identify where we fail to meet customers’ needs. Once completed, this “customer journey” exercise will become a document of best practices that can be used as a valuable resource for the entire company.
Multi-channelling and CRM
Social networks are one of the channels most widely used today by the customers of many financial entities. Knowing how to detect and understand the needs of our customers and responding to their demands through these platforms is essential when trying to bring banks and customers together. Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, such as SugarCRM, help companies to navigate these channels.
Thanks to their integration features, customer service teams can have access to all the information they need in the appropriate context. For example, it would be possible to fully understand a complaint and manage it correctly. One single access point to obtain all the facts linked to a certain situation or account is critical when the goal is to provide a great service. As it happens, an agent in this department could be more effective when handling a complaint if he knew whether a particular operation corresponds to a regular customer and if this customer prefers to be contacted via Twitter or Facebook.
But let’s not fool ourselves and become dazzled by everything digital… Human interaction is still very important and you have to know how to combine all these elements to obtain a complete overview of each customer.
Complex processes; simple technologies for users
Fortunately, SugarCRM is not only a powerful solution, ready to be integrated into the various channels of communication used by a bank, it is also a user-friendly tool, which is essential if it to be used by a company’s employees. It also complies with the security and confidentiality regulations required by the sector and can be installed in local or cloud-based servers.
Satisfying the demands of customers in the digital age requires dedication, research, and planning. Intelligence Partner can contribute its proven experience in implementing solutions like SugarCRM to achieve this goal.